Winch and Hi start Sailplanes need space lots of it, especially on the ground for the Hi Start or Winch Line
I am very fortunate and have 800 ft available in a number of directions mowed and free of obstacles to interfere with the line or with Landing the Sailplane.
Space in the air, well that’s also important and a bit more difficult to define and determine where your plane is or what area you cover with out another pair of eyes going to the boundaries of your flight, or perhaps a GPS Logger where you can later have the Data Points overlayed on a map to see where you fly.
On the ground the location of Hi start anchors or Winch turnarounds is generally determined by wind direction. Ideally you want to launch into the wind for highest Launches. So placing the turnaround or hi start anchor in the upwind direction on the field at a location such that the length of your Hi Start when stretched puts you in a location where you like to stand for flying
If you have plenty of line on your winch drum, then you can place your turnaround upwind as far as possible from your flying location taking into consideration the terrain and perhaps grass height.
Grass height is key to any field where you operate with winch lines or Hi Start Lines. Short grass as shown here is ideal , a plot of flat grassy field 800 ft x 800 ft works out to app 16 acres of Mowed area and should be treasured and guarded and one should consider themselves very fortunate if they find themselves in a situation to have these kind of facilities, and If your not mowing then someone else is spending a lot of time mowing.
Of course you can work with a smaller area, with shorter lines but clearly a Landing zone suited for the winch line and sailplanes is paramount for best operations
The chute seldom returns the line on a straight line between you and the turnaround or ground stake you’ll have to fetch it, and if it rolls or passes over tall grass while being stretched as you head back to the Launch/ Flying location, it will get snagged
Entangled lines with tall grass, straw and bushes will make for a long day at the field untangling lines and snags or poor Launches.
A line lying on the ground can also get entangled with other vehicles so it is best not to drive or taxi over them, if for instance some type of wheeled powered planes are also flying off this field. A line returning down from a Launch, perhaps 5 – 15 seconds of airtime, is also a great catcher for another set of wings or a spinning propeller.
Thermaling is an art, perhaps black magic and getting a sailplane to rise with rising air is not easy. One can find his sailplane down low perhaps as low as 200 ft and 1000 ft or more from the location where he is standing. This is a big box and that space can often also be used by other birds in particular eagles where I am , so I am always on the look out for them and avoid their space as much as possible.
Here in Nova Scotia, we have lots of land and wide Open space. Any property that is mowed and suitable for this type of operation usually has uses for something other then Launching Sailplanes.
I can think of Large Lawns, Golf Course, Driving Ranges, Sod Farms, Crop Fields, Public Parks
Unless your so fortunate to own your own property and can keep the grass mowed your likely left with seeking the use of someone elses Property.
Sod Farms perhaps present the best option for any group looking to Launch and fly Sailplanes. Care needs to be taken to mark any stakes/ spikes that are driven into the ground and any carnage from your activities including such things as cigerette butts and gum wrappers need to be removed. No purchaser of sod is interested in debris in their new lawn and reel mowers used by Sod Companies cannot work their way thru steel and other debris left behind
Golf course even If you could access them are not ideal as they are usually well treed and have narrow grass strips.
Driving Ranges are ideal are mowed and usually wide open, tough part is Golfers don’t want planes out in front of them.
Farmers fields would be great perhaps after they are mowed and If the heavy stubble doesn’t entangle your twine, soon though the grass will be taller and the farmer needs the feed.
Private large Lawns , another great option, getting a home owner to accept you on their property with your Sailplanes may be another challenge.
Public Parks, sports fields, Ball fields, even if big enough for your winch / histart are often frequented by others.
Estimated flying zone, though not figured out in any scientific manner I believe this is representative of a zone when flying a 4M Sailplane
The long of the short of it, think twice when you have found a Great Spot to fly Sailplanes and your fellow flying friends also want to use it for their powered planes and choppers
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